Hsu C, Duan Y, Fouts DE, Schnabl B
Intestinal virome and therapeutic potential of bacteriophages in liver disease.
Journal of hepatology. 2021-08-23;
Humans harbor a large quantity of microbes in the intestinal tract and have evolved symbiotic relationships with many of them. Several specific bacterial pathobionts have been associated with liver disease pathogenesis. Although bacteriophages (phages) and eukaryotic viruses (collectively known as "the virome") outnumber bacteria and fungi in the intestine, little is known about the intestinal virome in patients with liver disease. Here, we will summarize changes in the fecal virome associated with fatty liver diseases and cirrhosis. As natural predators of bacteria, phages can precisely edit the bacterial microbiota. We will describe the potential of phages to target specific bacterial pathobionts as a novel treatment approach for liver disease and describe challenges to clinical applications.